The underlying theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is that the body should be in a perfect state of physical and emotional balance to reach harmony with the outside world. When the balance is upset, disease will result. In the case of a y
oung eczema patient it was obvious after an examination of his pulse and the colour and texture of his tongue, that the cause of his problem was excessive dampness in his stomach causing indigestion. In addition, the drugs he had been taking to control his condition had, over time, contributed to the accumulation of excess of toxins in his body. Following time-honoured TCM principles I use two key methods to restore balance: acupuncture and herbal therapy. Acupuncture involves the insertion of sterilized fine steel needles at specific points in the body in order to stimulate the function of the internal organs and to direct healing energy called Qi (pronounced Chi) to a particular area of the body.
Three body meridians are essential to the treatment of eczema – the lung, spleen and liver meridians. These three organs have direct influence on the skin. A person should also avoid drinking alcohol and orange juice because these foods can induce heat in the body causing the skin to heat up thus aggravating the itch. I would advise eating more cooling foods as well like pears, grepafruit and watermelons The choice of acu-points in the spleen meridian is of primary importance for eczema patients and it takes a qualified practitioner to identify them correctly. In the hands of an expert the procedure isn’t painful and most patients gain immediate relief from itching. The TCM treatment of eczema aims for more than temporary relief. The ultimate goal is 100% cure.
Herbs and Acupuncture
In the Chinese medical system there are some 10,000 herbs that are used for medicinal purposes. About 1,000 of these are used in daily practice. The selection of herbs is highly sophisticated and it takes knowledge and experience to make the optimal choice for each particular patient. Rarely does one prescribe the same herbs for different patients. This is true even if patients suffer the same disease. In my own practice I have found the Chinese herbal formula Jin Ju Di Dan Wan to be very effective in the treatment of eczema due to heat toxins in the blood.
Blood plays a defensive role by delivering nutrients and removing metabolic wastes, toxins and pathogens from the body. In the case of chronic eczema, I have observed that some patient’s blood is deficient and the immune function is weak. I can detect this by observing the colour of the patients tongue, Chinese doctors have a saying that “the tongue never lies” and indeed Western doctors years ago used to look at the tongue as well for signs of ill health, but his was long before the drug companies and other so called modern methods took over their methods and their medicine. Eczema is a skin problem that is not that difficult to resolve. Herbs with properties of cleansing and enriching are safe, effective and economical. When taken as prescribed along with acupuncture they can be highly effective. A healthy lifestyle and diet is of utmost importance to prevent re-occurrence of eczema.
Anything that aggravates the symptoms should be avoided. This includes food allergens; although food allergies are a very individual matter, common irritants may include wheat, corn, dairy, soy, peanuts, eggs, beef, and lamb. As well, patients should avoid skin irritants such as wool and lanolin. Exposure to environmental triggers can also worsen symptoms, as can exposure to water, changes in temperature, sweat and stress. Dry skin often makes the condition worse. When washing or bathing, patients should keep water contact as brief as possible and use no soap The herbal wash I prescribe for eczema called Liu Wu Xi Yi is a very effective shampoo and shower gel for the body and is a combination of Chinese herbs designed to treat itch and clear away heat toxins from the skin. It is also very important to apply Huang Qin Gao which is a high quality Chinese ointment to treat skin disorders like eczema and psoriasis. Mainstream medicine generally depends on drugs for the treatment of eczema, this approach only temporally alleviates the symptoms, and it ignores the underlying causes of the disease. In addition, the drugs often have very negative side effects and could also maybe be addictive as well.